No tweets, please
I have been a regular reader of Isthmus for 25 years. While I'm very glad the paper is still around, I just wanted to share my opinion and comment on one aspect of the new look since the change in ownership. Please do not include tweets in the paper. If I wanted to read tweets, I would be on Twitter.
I read the article on Mr. Ludell Swenson's dilemma -- eviction, really -- and cringed with anger and sadness and shame ("Why Ludell Swenson Can't Live Downtown Anymore," 7/24/2014)! As a citizen and taxpayer, and as a parent and older person, I wonder how many more luxury boutique apartments and condos we need.
And, dude from Madison Development Corporation, shame on you. The man has been a longtime tenant in Madison and should not live in an area that limits his options and accessibility! How much profit will be enough? How would any of us deal with cerebral palsy and a society that defines us by narrow parameters?
Your article "Making Change and Taking Charge" (8/14/2014) was a complete joy. Uplifting articles like this one are exactly what are needed to encourage and inspire activists of all ages in the community to swing our ideas into action and passionately find real solutions to the issues plaguing our planet.
Michael A. Walker, Fitchburg
Run, Dave, run!
I know that Madison will never elect a mayor whose views are close to mine. Still I wake each day profoundly grateful that Dave Cieslewicz is not mayor ("Time to Start Over on Judge Doyle Square," 8/21/2014). He still envisions a "great" city ever growing with carless, childless, hip, affluent downtown dwellers. Thank goodness he did not get us to cram a railroad station and public market downtown. Thank goodness we did not finance the Edgewater renewal and a trolley system to replace buses downtown. The list could go on and on.
Dave, give in to your urge and run for mayor again so that we can choose once and for all whether we want your vision for our city. As to Judge Doyle Square, let's not quibble over the planning process and subsidy amount. Do not subsidize a hotel there, period.
Co-sleeping, pro and con
Sharing a bed with a newborn or young infant is a choice made by many families based on culture and child-rearing beliefs. It is not an "illicit activity" as described by Ruth Conniff ("Confessions of a Co-Sleeper," 7/17/2014). But it is an unsafe practice. Studies show there are no safe ways to share a bed with a newborn. The most recent study, published in the journal Pediatrics this month, examined more than 8,200 baby deaths from 24 states during 2004-2012. This study concluded that sharing a bed is the predominant risk factor for younger infants (0-3 months of age). Here in Dane County, 22 of the 26 sudden infant deaths over the past five years were the result of unsafe sleeping conditions.
Sharing a bed is attractive for many parents who desire skin-to-skin contact and ease of breastfeeding. But the same thing can be accomplished by placing a crib or bassinette, without bumpers, pillows, stuffed animals and blankets, right next to the bed. Although there is a common belief that the risk of co-sleeping is created by co-factors such as obesity, smoking, heavy drinking or drug use, the fatigue experienced by new mothers is similar to the depressed level of awareness observed in those who drink, smoke or use illicit drugs.
While we respect parental choices, our local children's hospital and the county public health department are obliged to inform the public regarding unsafe practices. We want parents, grandparents, friends and other family members to have the facts from the best research available before making their own decision on bed sharing.
Ellen Wald, M.D., Chair, Department of Pediatrics, UW School of Medicine and Public Health
The current anti-bed sharing campaign is yet another example of how we dilute and dumb down the curriculum because we don't believe the target audience (minority families living in poverty) can understand anything more complex (like how to bed share safely). The result is a gross oversimplification of the facts, to the point of distorting them.
If it proves successful, a further result of the anti-bed sharing campaign will be that infants and young children of poverty and color will be deprived of nurturing things they need in order to thrive, benefits that their middle and upper-middle-class peers will continue to enjoy because their parents will be taught or figure out how to co-sleep safely.
But, as with so many other things, we will not talk openly about how race and class affect -- and are affected by -- the issue at hand. Too scary. And too bad because these very practices (breastfeeding, safe co-sleeping) could prove to be a buffer against the many deleterious effects of growing up in poverty.